‘The Rundown’: An election audit in Utah?

Two Utah lawmakers have signed on to a call to audit the 2020 election in all 50 states

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(Matt York | AP) Maricopa County ballots cast in the 2020 general election are examined and recounted by contractors working for Florida-based company, Cyber Ninjas, Thursday, May 6, 2021 at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix.

An election audit in Utah?

Two Utah Republican lawmakers have signed on to an effort calling for a “nationwide audit” and “decertification” of the 2020 election.

Rep. Steve Christiansen, R-West Jordan, and Rep. Phil Lyman, R-Blanding, are among 41 state legislators nationwide who are part of an “election integrity caucus” formed by Arizona state Sen. Wendy Rogers. Rogers was a chief proponent of the sham “audit” of election results in Arizona. Instead of uncovering fraud, that recount found Joe Biden defeated Donald Trump by a wider margin than what was reported on election day.

Rogers is scheduled to speak in Utah next month at a right-wing conference headlined by former national security advisor Michael Flynn.

Lyman posted on Telegram that the “audit” showed the exact opposite of what was reported in the media.

“Anyone who understands the Marxist media and government see their attacks as an admission of guilt. We will see who is committed to the Truth, who is committed to the lie, who has courage to take on the liars, and who lack all conviction,” Lyman said.

Christiansen traveled to Arizona in June to observe the recount in Maricopa County. Shortly after the 2020 election, he requested a legislative audit of Salt Lake County’s results, but legislative leaders did not have any appetite for that move. Biden defeated Trump in the county by more than 50,000 votes.

Legislative sources say both Christiansen and Lyman are attempting to build support for an audit of the results in Utah but are having a hard time convincing their fellow Republicans to sign on.

Here’s what you need to know for Wednesday morning

💵 U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellin warned Congress must raise the debt limit by October 18. The U.S. will begin to default on its debt after that. Republicans in the Senate blocked a bill to prevent that scenario. [Axios]

🚨 Congress has until Thursday night to pass a stopgap spending bill to avoid a government shutdown. [Politico]

🏛 Democrats in Congress are still trying to find enough votes to pass a $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill and a $3.5 trillion spending bill that would fund much of President Joe Biden’s agenda. Sens. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema are still holding up negotiations. [Politico]

👀 Rep. Mark Strong invited his GOP colleagues in the Utah Legislature to a reception featuring a presentation by a well-known COVID-19 vaccine skeptic. [Tribune]

🏛 Sen. Mike Lee attempted to pass, without debate, a bill to exempt Americans from a federal COVID-19 vaccine mandate for personal reasons. Democrats shot down the bill saying it would create a dangerous loophole that could lead to more infections. [Tribune]

🏛 A Senate committee grilled U.S. military leaders about the chaotic withdrawal of American forces from Afghanistan. They refused to blame President Biden for the collapse of the Afghan government, but they had recommended keeping a small force in the country following the exit. [WaPo]

🏛 Sen. Elizabeth Warren told Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell she doesn’t think he deserves another four years in that position. [Bloomberg]

⚖️ 131 federal judges failed to recuse themselves from ruling on cases in which they or their families held a financial interest. [WSJ]

🏠 Housing prices along the Wasatch Front are some of the most overpriced in the country, according to a new study. [Tribune]

  • U.S. home prices jumped nearly 20% in July compared to a year ago, a record increase. [AP]

🤔 Experts were bracing for a wave of evictions across the country once a federal moratorium expired. That has not materialized, and nobody seems to know why. [WaPo]

🛢 Oil prices are rising. The price for a barrel of crude climbed above $80 for the first time in 3 years. [BBC]

💉 Los Angeles is considering requiring adults to show proof of full COVID-19 vaccination to enter many indoor businesses, including restaurants, movie theaters, and gymnasiums. [Los Angeles Times]

😢 Scientists officially declared 23 species have gone extinct, including the ivory-billed woodpecker. [WaPo]

Wednesday morning’s Utah news roundup


  • See how LDS Church warnings about pornography have evolved. [Tribune]

  • Sundance Film Festival attendees will have to wear masks, as well as get vaccinated against COVID-19. [Tribune]

  • Utah health centers to receive $7 million in federal grants. [FOX 13]

  • Utah had a surge of homicides and violent crime in 2020, new FBI data shows. [KUTV]

  • How has the pandemic impacted mental health challenges on college campuses? [ABC4]

  • Park City police critic files lawsuit stemming from confrontation with officers. [Park Record]


  • Utah reports 13 more COVID-19 deaths, 1,330 new cases. [Tribune]


  • Coachman’s restaurant may return as part of new Salt Lake City condo project. [Tribune]

  • Utah has billions in infrastructure needs as water, sewer lines reach end of life. [FOX 13]

  • St. George continues to grow as water officials try to keep up. [ABC4]

  • Ogden development plans around FrontRunner stop, Union Station inching forward. [Standard Examiner]

  • Public input wanted for Bridal Veil Falls future. [Daily Herald]


  • Moab police chief granted leave as investigation into Petito, Laundrie stop looms. [Tribune]

  • Investigators seek new leads in slaying of couple near Moab. [Tribune]


  • Can the Great Salt Lake be saved? [Tribune]

  • How Utah is doing with its ‘first of its kind’ plan for net-100% renewable energy. [Deseret News]

  • Will Biden restore Bears Ears? Tribal coalition urges president to take ‘immediate action’. [Deseret News]

On the Opinion Pages

  • Catherine G. Weller: What Utah voters do now can affect our democracy for the next decade. [Tribune]

— The Tribune’s Connor Sanders contributed to this report.